Davao Philippines Temple
On 7 October 2018, at the 188th semiannual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson announced plans for the construction of a temple in Davao City, Philippines. The Davao Philippines Temple will be the sixth temple built in the Philippines. The announcement came just a half-year after the announcement of the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Temple in the April 2018 general conference.
There is a strong Church presence in the Philippines with 805,000 Latter-day Saints in 115 stakes and 1,239 congregations.
The Manila Philippines Temple was dedicated in 1984 and the Cebu Philippines Temple in 2010. Two more temples are under construction in Alabang and Urdaneta. Temples in Cagayan de Oro and Bacolod have also been announced.
The two-story Davao Philippines Temple will be approximately 18,450 square feet with a single attached end tower. On 8 September 2020, the location of the temple was announced. The temple will be built on a 2.7-acre site at Ma-a Road and Anahaw Road, Bgy. Ma-a, Davao City 8000, in the Philippines. The existing meetinghouse on the site will be demolished and replaced with the temple, a new meetinghouse, and housing for patrons and the temple presidency.
An official exterior rendering of the Davao Philippines Temple was also released on 8 September 2020. A groundbreaking date has not been set.
Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for the Davao Philippines Temple
Church leaders in Davao Philippines participated in the groundbreaking service for the Davao Philippines Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Saturday, 14 November 2020. Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Philippines Area, presided at the event and offered the dedicatory prayer. Attendance at the event was limited because of current COVID-19 social guidelines. Part of the event was held indoors at an adjacent meetinghouse and part on the temple site itself.
Elder Wakolo was joined in Davoa City — located on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, in the shadow of Mount Apo, the country’s tallest peak — by his wife, Anita, Elder Yoon Hwan Choi and Elder Steven R. Bangerter of the Philippines Area Presidency, and other local interfaith leaders. During his remarks, He said, "It never ceases to amaze me how the hand of the Lord has been over this nation. How He has prepared its people and its land to receive the gospel and the blessings of the temples of the Lord." In the dedicatory prayer, he prayed, "We pray that this temple, even while being constructed, will bless the lives of all who live in the vicinity and those who pass by, by increasing their hope and peace through Christ."
Elder Bangerter commented, "This Davao Philippines Temple will be known as a House of God. Above its entry will be engraved the salutation 'Holiness to the Lord,' which calls our minds to recognize the Lord’s house as a sanctuary, set apart from the cares and concerns of the world." He continued, "Today we rejoice in the blessings of God, and we give thanks for the kindness of our friends and neighbors who have so graciously helped us prepare for the construction of this beautiful temple."
Elder Wakolo further commented, "My prayer is that we visit the temple as often as we can. Let us experience heaven here on earth through the temple. Heaven becomes closer when we go to the temple."
The Philippines has seven temples announced, under construction or in operation including the Alabang, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Urdaneta, Cebu City, and Manila temples. Upon its completion and prior to its dedication, a public open house will be scheduled. Details for the open house and temple dedication will be announced at a future date.